The former teacher of an autistic boy allegedly mistreated by staff at a New Jersey school did not call him "a bastard" or make other harsh comments that were secretly recorded by the child's father, her lawyer said in a statement.
The statement also accused the boy's father, Stuart Chaifetz, of putting the teacher, Kelly Altenburg, and her family "in harms way," and said she wasn't even in the room for part of the day.
At least one classroom aide reportedly lost her job, but the state's largest teachers union said that because Altenburg had been transferred to another school, and not fired, she had been exonerated of making the remarks. Cherry Hill Superintendent Maureen Reusche, however, said "the investigation remains ongoing." [emphasis added]
The statement from Altenburg's lawyer said the accusations had "hurt her deeply" and she wanted to "set the record straight."
"Mr. Chaifetz ... has been disingenuous in his assertions and has failed to advise the public accurately, including the fact that for at least approximately one hour in the beginning of the day at issue, Mrs. Altenburg was not even in the classroom with Mr. Chaifetz's son," the lawyer, Matthew B. Wieliczko, wrote in the emailed statement. He said she was at a "Professional Learning Community Meeting" that morning.